A Weekend Exploring Cedar Mesa

Saturday & Sunday, May 24-25, 2008

Unfortunately since Amanda has to work on the holiday, we only had a normal weekend to go exploring, but we managed to make the most of it.

After heading out after work and driving straight through to Blanding, where we filled up with gas, we made it to Comb Wash campground and managed to setup camp right before it started raining. We knew there might be a chance of rain, but it actually ended up raining all night….and pretty hard, too.

After getting some sleep (not a good nights sleep) we got up early and headed over to the Arch Canyon trailhead where we met up with Jared (XJblue) and his friend Kyle. When we headed up the trail, we were greeted with a few pretty deep water crossings, thanks to all the rain we got during the night.

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We stopped at the Arch Canyon Ruin for a few pictures before continuing on.

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After crossing the creek a number of times and stopping for more pictures, we finally made it to the end of the trail.

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At this point, we took off down the hiking trail to check out Cathedral Arch and Angel Arch.

Cathedral Arch
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Angel Arch
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When we got back to our rigs, it was time for lunch. While we were enjoying lunch, it actually started hailing for a little bit.

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After heading back out from Arch Canyon, we headed South down Comb Wash along the large Comb Ridge.

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It was a lot of higher speed driving, so we didn’t get many pictures. But we did end up stopping at this old cabin along the way.

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Once we hit US 163 we climbed over the ridge and did some exploring right on the other side around Hobbs Wash. We found an old section of highway that we followed, and a small arch.

The old highway we followed
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It dead ended here
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Wagon tracks in the slickrock right past where the old highway ended
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The arch Amanda spotted
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We climbed up to the arch
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We tried to find a way across the Butler Wash canyon, but all the roads down were too washed out, and the bridge for the old section of highway was missing….so we had to get back on US 163 to get to Butler Wash Road…..which we took North again until we made it to the Butler Wash Ruin Overlook where we took another short hike to the ruins.

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After heading into Blanding for dinner and fuel, we went back to camp and went right to sleep. I had a much better night of sleep….but it did rain again at some point during the night.

Sunday we got another early start and headed up to Hotel Rock. This was a fun trail with some excellent ruins at the end.

View into Arch Canyon from the overlook
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We spent a bit of time exploring the ruins.

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Headed back out
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Once we made it back from Hotel Rock we headed over to Natural Bridges National Monument. Since Amanda and I had to head back home soon, we said goodbye to Jared and Kyle and took the loop road around the park and checked out the overlooks of the bridges. We would have liked to have hiked down to the bridges, but we just didn’t have the time…..so we will be heading back again to do that, eventually.

Sipapu Bridge
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Kachina Bridge
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Owachomo Bridge
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On our way home, we made a few other quick stops, including Newspaper Rock, Wilson Arch and the destroyed Dewey bridge.

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